Kirby puts Somerset in box seat over Worcestershire

LV County Championship Division One, Taunton
Close, day two: Somerset 309 & 83-3, Worcestershire 238
Somerset 6pts, Worcs 4pts
Match scorecard
Live commentary
LV County Championship

Steve Kirby took 4-64 to bowl Somerset into a strong position after two days against Worcestershire.

Kirby was supported by Arul Suppiah (2-16) and Charl Willoughby (2-51) as four wickets fell in six balls.

Worcestershire fell from 207-5 to 209-9 and were 238 all out as Vikram Solanki scored 69 and Alexei Kervezee 54.

Somerset increased their lead to 154 by stumps, reaching 83-3 in their second innings, with James Hildreth unbeaten on 27.

The hosts had been dismissed in the final over of day one and had an immediate breakthrough on the second morning, as Kirkby got rid of James Cameron in his first over.

Solanki and Daryl Mitchell took the score past 50 before the latter fell leg before wicket to a Willoughby inswinger.

The visitors then appeared to be wrestling control away from the hosts as Solanki shared a third-wicket stand of 62 with Moeen Ali (20).

But Willoughby accounted for Solanki just before the lunch interval and Worcestershire began the second session on 115-3.

Moeen became a first Championship wicket for teenage all-rounder Lewis Gregory on his first-class debut and Matthew Pardoe fell to Peter Trego to leave the visitors 156-5.

Kervezee's 53-ball half-century swung momentum back Worcestershire's way but Suppiah got rid of the Netherlands man and then had Ben Cox taken at slip by Marcus Trescothick via Craig Kieswetter's gloves.

Kirby then saw off Gareth Andrew (30) and Jack Shantry for a golden duck, as four wickets fell in six balls.

Damien Wright hit two sixes in a rapid 24 but he was last man out to Kirby to give Somerset a 71-run first-innings lead.

The hosts found batting tricky second time around and lost Suppiah, Trescothick and Nick Compton to Alan Richardson, Wright and Andrew respestively but they still lead by 154 with seven second-innings wickets remaining.


BBC Hereford & Worcestershire's Dave Bradley:

"Somerset are in charge of this one - there's still something in the pitch for the medium pacers and batting last could be testing.

"The Worcestershire collapse, four wickets going down in six balls, could be the defining moment in the game, even Suppiah must have been shocked to take two wickets in an over.

"Solanki looked set for the second hundred of the game, until the ever-green Willoughby bought one back into him.

"Kervezee is beginning to look a class act and bats with a certain amount of freedom, but he will not be happy with the way he got out.

"It's hard to see how Worcestershire can come back into this one, unless they take some quick wickets on Friday morning."

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